comfort in a slice

The last I updated here, I turned to a non-bake yoghurt parfait breakfast when the heat got to me. Now as I’m writing this, the bedside window is perforated with beautiful patterns of the tearing clouds. Such is the temperament of the weather here; the seasons are far from clearly defined, and as time went by, it had become more difficult to predict the wet playful monsoon period, when brightly-coloured raincoats and quirky cute brollies contemplated their position amidst backpacks of school children and handbags of strutting ladies.

And all I can think of at this moment is the warm slice of blueberry crumb cake fresh from the oven I had a couple of days ago. I have a favourite apple streusel torte recipe, which I always turn to whenever the non-chocoholic crowd decides to gang up on me, or when I need a good choice of underrated warm cake to be slivered ever so slightly with a dollop of freezer-cold ice-cream. But now, this one attempt at a blueberry bake has knocked the several tastes of red off the charts, for I have found the perfect crumb cake that kept everyone eagerly asking for a second slice.

I’ve had a pack of blueberries sitting in the freezer for some time now, and had been searching for the right recipe to try; blueberry muffins were too average (and the mother decided she was not a fan, having tried at the airport recently), while a blueberry pie sounded too ambitious (the last time I made that, I opted for the canned blueberry pie filling the brother had bought). An intensive search around the Net saw me drooling over these photos, and I knew that if I couldn’t get my hands on those lovely cutlery, I just simply had to try my hands on that crumb cake.

This is one cake that actually brought all the chocoholics and non-chocoholics sitting at the same table, discussing what was the ‘winner’. Some were absolutely smitten by the cinnamon streusel crumble adorning the top layer of the cake, others were won over by the perfect tease of the orange zest illuminating the cake itself, while some found comfort in hidden blueberries bursting in freshness amidst a fluffy cake. Whatever the reason, and in which ever way you prefer (I had mine with warm tea, the father had his with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream), this recipe is a sure keeper.

In other news, I’ve been tagged by my dear ol’ friend Jean-Marie who insists on knowing if being in love had “an adverse effect” in my music taste *rolls eyes*, and so, here goes, six songs I am currently either plugged into right now, or have got the tune stuck in my head as of late. (Click the titles for links to their respective videos.)

1. The Mariner’s Revenge Song – The Decemberists
My happy song for this season. Irony at its best, given that the song is about death and the likes.

2. Lucky – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
A fan of Mraz’s music, I love the simplicity and earnestness of this song’s lyrics.

3. Butterflies & Hurricanes – Muse
Undoubtedly the best song from this talented band. Ever. In my opinion, of course. My go-to when I need a pick-me-up from the harsher realities. Can never get tired of this.

4. When Will I See Your Face Again – Jamie Scott & The Town
The song that the father always hears me singing from the stairs. Nuf said.

5. Fell In Love With A Girl – White Stripes
“I must be fine cause my heart’s still beating”;–possibly my most-oft-used MSN caption. One of my all-time fave from them.

6. tunes from the mister’s guitar
Miss that. *hint hint*

Blueberry Crumb Cake
(adapted from here)

Crumble:
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
175g cold butter, diced

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and rub together until the mixture is crumbly. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cake:
150g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
zest of one orange
170ml buttermilk
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an 8-inch tin.
  2. Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add in the zest.
  3. Add in the buttermilk, and fold in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Lastly, fold in the blueberries.
  4. Pour this batter into your tin, and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top, covering the entire batter evenly.
  5. Bake at 180C for about 50mins. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins before inverting onto a cooling rack.

Notes: Make sure you grease the tin very well; it may be difficult to invert the cake out of the tin otherwise.

29 thoughts on “comfort in a slice

  1. the mister

    Wah… this would totally go with some lots of ice cream!

    And “tunes”?

    Oh you are too kind, madame.

    I prefer to refer to it as this side of caterwailing and nailstochalkboardism…πŸ˜€

    Reply
  2. maya

    i don’t know how i arrived here (via numerous links i think) but i am in LOVE with your site.πŸ™‚ very pretty bakes. i’ve been here for nearly an hour looking at stuff! and i’m drooling now; haven’t had breakfast/lunch!

    Reply
  3. ovenhaven Post author

    bie: You have an obsession with eating all my bakes with ice-cream, love.πŸ˜› And if you should so refer to it as that, then I say bring on the caterwailings and nailstochalkboardism any day!πŸ˜€

    maya: Why thank you, MayaπŸ™‚ Sorry about the drooling though. You should never go foodblog-hopping before any meal, that much I’ve learntπŸ˜›

    Reply
  4. jean-marie

    Jamie Scott and Jason Mraz were so gooooooood! Too bad you didn’t go for Singfest. I dnt even know Jamie Scott until that day, but now I’m in love with him!πŸ˜€

    Reply
  5. didally

    The cake looks moist and buttery. Now I know that if I ever make the toppings first, I put them in the fridge first! Mine lumped up together cos i make the mistake of making it first before the batter, and left it in room temperature.

    Reply
  6. ovenhaven Post author

    jean-marie: Yeah I heard! The part about their brilliant performances, not the part where you fell in love with Jamie. HahaπŸ˜›

    thecoffeesnob: And now I wish I had a slice of it for breakfast as wellπŸ˜›

    didally: Oh, or you can simply do the crumble part the last; i.e. after you’ve already prepared the batterπŸ™‚

    Reply
  7. grace

    nice blueberry usage.πŸ™‚ i’m especially loving the thick, buttery crumb topping…so much so that i might get caught biting it off and leaving the rest…πŸ™‚

    Reply
  8. linda

    Would you believe I’ve never made a cake with crumbs? Did do a muffin with streusel one time but that was it. Your cake looks exactly how you describe it…just yummy!

    Reply
  9. ovenhaven Post author

    grace: I was absolutely thrilled to find bits of the crumble falling off into the pan as I cut the slices, happily munching away. Those crumbs are to die for!πŸ˜›

    coco: Give it a go; you won’t regret itπŸ™‚

    linda: You should definitely make a crumb cake the soonest! It’s the perfect feature for tea.πŸ™‚

    Reply
  10. Isabelle

    Looks beautiful and delicious!! I cannot wait to try this out, although I am horrible with converting measurements. Would you be able to tell me what 150 g and 175 g of butter would be in american cups? Also, do you know the conversion of 170 ml to ounces or cups? If not, I will try to wing itπŸ™‚ I always try checking the conversion tables, but get so confused! Alas, math was never my forte!
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

    Reply
  11. Isabelle

    OK, so I did a little more investigating and for any others that may need some conversions: 175 g butter is roughly equal to 3/4 cup or 12 Tablespoons, 150 g of butter is equal to 10.5 Tablespoons, and 170 ml of cream is equal to .72 cups — about 3/4 cup or 11.5 Tablespoons
    Now I can make this cake! Thanks for sharing the lovely photo and recipe!

    Reply
  12. ovenhaven Post author

    Isabelle: Good luck with the cake! I sure hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I didπŸ™‚ And so sorry for not being able to reply to your conversion question earlier.

    Patricia Scarpin: Oh I wish I could send some over to you right now, sweetie!πŸ™‚

    Reply
  13. happygrub

    Where did u get ur blueberries from? I’ve always refrained from buying them as I think they’re a little expensive. But I love crumbles and this crumble cake looks delish.

    Reply
  14. ovenhaven Post author

    I got the blueberries sometime last month when they were on sale at NTUC, and just froze them until I found the right blueberry bake to try out. They were wiped out pretty fast, though, since they’re usually quite expensive. Do give this a try when you’ve got your hands on some, k?πŸ™‚

    Reply
  15. Shaheen

    Oh no! I’ve a problem. No buttermilk here (for Indians buttermilk is yoghurt thinned with water). How do I sub it? Will milk be okay? Thanks so much my new friends *gushing* hehe I’m being so juvenile.πŸ˜›

    Reply
  16. ovenhaven Post author

    Haha, you’re too cute!πŸ˜› You can substitute buttermilk with milk and lemon juice; for every 1 cup of milk, add in 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and let it sit aside for about 10-15 mins.

    Reply
  17. Shaheen

    That’s a recipe for paneer! *yum* Won’t the milk curdle? Also, I just wanted to be sure of your cup size. What amount of liquid does it hold? I don’t want to falter one bit because I’m really excited about the crumb cake.

    Reply
  18. Pingback: White Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes | PurpleFoodie.com

  19. wei li

    Hi!
    Tried out the cake yesterday!
    And just wanted to let you know that it tasted really good!
    My entire family simply LOVED it! and kept praising it!
    Thanks alot for sharing! (:

    Reply
  20. wei li

    Oh yeah, but just wanted to ask, when i added the buttermilk inside the and beat it in onlow speed, my mixture started to curdle abit, may i know why? Should i add it in a little at a time?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Hi Wei Li, I’m so glad to hear your family loved itπŸ™‚ Regarding the buttermilk, usually I always add liquids in 2/3 additions, meaning bit by bit. Also, the mixture could’ve also curdled if your buttermilk wasn’t at room temperature. Hope that helps!

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